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Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is most successful when there is a support system.

Breaking bad habits can lead to a happier, healthier life. [© Shutterstock, 2010]
© Shutterstock, 2010
Breaking bad habits can lead to a happier, healthier life.

Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery helps individuals to remain sober and to discontinue the use of drugs, alcohol and other mind-altering substances. Though intervention from medical experts, counselors, family and friends is often required, individuals can successfully achieve addiction recovery.

Understanding Addiction Recovery

There is not any one factor that makes individuals become addicted to drugs and alcohol, but biological and social factors are common contributors. At first, users believe that drugs and alcohol can have positive effects on their lives. In reality, it won't take long for these substances to take over and result in abuse.

Reports from The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicate that drug use and abuse contribute to the deaths of more than 100,000 Americans every year. When individuals choose addiction recovery, some of those fatalities, as well as other serious complications, can be avoided. The proper help and treatment can make a life-changing difference. Addiction is a treatable disease that can be managed successfully. Individuals who seek or agree to undergo treatment take the first step toward addiction recovery.

Addiction Recovery Treatments for Drug and Alcohol Abuse

NIDA recommends that those in recovery work with medical professionals and counselors to help them determine appropriate treatment options and the following action steps:

  • Counseling
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Medical treatment
  • Peer support groups
  • 12-step and self-help programs

Drug and alcohol abuse experts suggest a minimum 90-day treatment program that addresses every aspect of a person's life -- medical, psychological, social and so on. One-time or short-term treatment is usually not effective over a long period of time. Individuals receiving addiction recovery treatment can also expect relapses due to the nature of their chronic disease.

Those beginning addiction recoveries may experience physical symptoms from withdrawal, including insomnia, anxiety, restlessness and dysphoria. Doctors can prescribe medication that can help ease the symptoms and to bring them under control.

Individuals may be required to go through a series of medical and psychological evaluations, as well as one-on-one or group counseling that will help them to resolve some of the issues associated with the addiction and abuse. Many choose to participate in these treatment programs to address every dimension of their addiction.

The Impact of Addiction Recovery on Family Members

Addiction recovery can impact individuals of all ages and from all walks of life, including family members and friends, from babies and adolescents to adults. Family members should expect to be involved in the addiction recovery process.

With an alcoholic, Al-Anon/Alateen estimates that the addiction impacts the lives of at least four other people. The group believes it is a family illness and those closest to an alcoholic face the greatest suffering. However, the support and involvement of family members is crucial; they can help to increase success rates and to decrease the possibility of a relapse.

There are many ways in which family members can get involved. They may choose to become part of a local support group like Al-Anon/Alateen or to help educate others by getting involved in The Partnership for a Drug-Free America. This nonprofit organization is committed to bringing families together by providing parents, educators and medical professionals with tools and resources they need to educate children and teens about the impact of abusing drugs and alcohol.

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